I will no longer be forever a prisoner

hard and right

I just turned 40 and with that came a lot of searching, memories, reflecting and more. I have been on a journey and so I took time to reflect on the last decade. I lived a life time in my 30’s. I met and married my husband, had 2 more kids, lost my oldest to the disaster that was my marriage, divorced, got my oldest back, re-entered the work force, moved into a house of my own with my kids, and found my way back to God. My oldest moved out, had a baby, got married, and is living her own version of life. In my 30’s, I have had a few relationships, one that has come so close to destroying me, I have lost 2 of my grandparents, lost jobs, lived in chaos, found a great job and have found my life again. My 30’s were a roller coaster for sure. There was some good in there, in fact there was some really good moments in there, but there were also quite a few major tragedies. Life is not free from trials. It never has been and it never will be. It is those trials that shape you, grow you, and mold you into the person you are. They are not fun to go through, but looking back on them it is incredible to know that not only did I make it through, but I grew from it and am a much different person today.

I have said good bye to the things in my 30’s that have held me back from being free. I have made a choice to enter this next decade expecting more. I am expecting beautiful things. I know that I am going to begin to see some of God’s promises unfold. The refining process will never end, but I know that I am where God needs me to be in order for him to work in me. Some of the visions that God gave me years and years ago are already beginning to surface! It is both exciting and scary. I am blessed to be surrounded with some awesome friends who love me and who are committed to walking out this journey with me. They will help me stay on the right path and they will speak truth into my life and that is a blessing in itself.

Although I know that God is right here waiting to bless me and waiting to make all of these dreams that he has given me come true and although I am trying to leave the things from the last 10 years where they belong, there is one soul tie that I cannot seem to shed. I daily, sometimes multiple times a day have to say goodbye mentally and have to remind myself that there are better things in store for me, but I am constantly haunted and reminded of this tie that I have not yet broken.

As I am preparing for Thanksgiving, I pulled out a notebook to write down lists of things that I need to do and ran across this journal entry from March:

March 20, 2014

It is amazing how five days can feel like so much longer in a good way. Sunday, March 16th, life was the same as it has been for a while. Everything was in it’s place and I was so content in every area except for one. I wanted to meet my husband. Somewhere over the last couple of years there has been this unrest. I haven’t been desperate or in a hurry, but I have just felt the void of my other half. Always on my mind was “when will I meet my husband or have I already met him?”. I have dated and I have talked to men. I have been on dating sites. I have been open and willing, but nobody fit. There was always this feeling of trying to make things fit just so that I could begin my journey towards forever. 

Something happened on Sunday. The unlikely, the unexpected. I was enjoying lunch with my kids and grand kid when across my phone a name was displayed. A name that I never thought I would see again was staring back at me. My breath caught and the color drained from my face. Time stopped just for a moment. I was afraid to slide the name across my phone to reveal what was under it. That name, it is so full of so many things. It is full of love, hope, promise, expectation, need, desire, future, mystery, joy, calm, forever, completeness, and so much  more. That name signifies and is full of everything I want and everything I need. I knew that what was underneath that name had the power to unleash what I was afraid to want or destroy the hope to have what I have been trying to dream of. I knew that what was under that name would hold so much weight and meaning in the words. It could destroy me. A simple “Hi” could make or break me. There is no way that I could know the power of what was underneath that name. until that moment. There was no way to prepare. No way to plan. No way to protect. A million times and a million ways I had imagined being reunited with the man who had sent that text, and this scenario was never one of them. I will never in my life have to wonder again how I feel about this man or what place he has in my heart. There was a genuine reaction and emotion that hit me with a force greater than anything I had ever felt before. 

My daughter looked at me with fear in her eyes. She was afraid to ask what it was. Finally she asked “what is it mom? Is everything okay?” I said “yes”, but I thought “no, it isn’t okay. I am scared to death. What could be under that name?” So many thoughts ran through my mind in such a short amount of time. Slowly, I slid the name across my phone and underneath it were the words “Do you want to go shooting with me today?” Certainly this was not meant for me. The range of emotions that ran through me at this time were more than I could handle. Suddenly the moment was no longer mine. I was held captive by the words that looked so innocent staring back at me. Of course the obvious response was ” Was this meant for me?” Unsure of the answer I hoped for, I waited. I tried so hard to be present with my kids and enjoy the time, but I was gone. Lost in the confusion of what was unfolding. The response came in and the message was for me. Panic set in. I was not available. I couldn’t be available. I was afraid of losing the opportunity to spend a moment of time with the person on the other side of the message. I was equally afraid of spending any time at all with him. He has the power to destroy me. He was needing to see me. That was clear and he was willing to wait until I was free. The next five hours were filled with anticipation. Excitement growing the closer that it got to eight o’clock. Time wasn’t moving fast enough. What if the moment passed? What if he got tired of waiting? What if he gave up? OH MY GOODNESS! I was so excited!

The meeting place was determined and I headed that way. Anticipation, what could he possible want? What could this mean? Had our time finally come? I parked, got out of my car and I began to walk. I tried to be normal. “Slow down Tiffany. Walk normal. Don’t run.” It was hard. I had to talk myself through it. I caught a glimpse of his face and I almost lost it. Tears stung the back of my eye. My heart began to race…Closer…Faster…my eyes reach his. He stands up. I have no idea how many people are on the patio in that restaurant, because as far as I was concerned, we were the only ones there…almost there…just a few more feet when…finally…his arms were around me. I wanted to cry with joy. I wanted to stay there forever and ask him to never let me go…ever. 

I may have been in his arms for seconds or hours, I have no idea. Finally, he commented on my pounding heart and I was back in the moment. We sat down. I looked into his eyes and at that moment I knew. This moment had to be cherished because I may never have a moment like this with him again. 

Hours went by. The night was slipping away. I kept telling myself that even Cinderella had until midnight, but Midnight came and left without warning . The hours rolled on and the threat of this time ending was lingering. I was living a dream. The impossible was right next to me. I could touch him, feel him, taste him. He was right there, but for how long? No promises were made. There were no false pretenses. Nothing had changed, and everything was different. 

Clumsily I walked away. I didn’t know what day light would look like. I was afraid of the new day. Nothing had changed… everything was different.

I was desperate to cry. I needed to let the emotion out, but it wouldn’t come. I laid down in my bed and I drifted off to sleep afraid of what tomorrow would look like. 

Monday… I woke up and had to check my phone. I needed to know if this had been real. The taste of his lips lingered. It had really happened and I was deliciously thrilled. Until…

I remembered that I left three very important words unsaid. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again, but I know that I love him and I have from the moment that I met him.

I find it interesting that as I was typing this post, the subject of the journal entry contacted me. It is insane. Every time that my life begins to level out and I am hopeful, it is turned upside down. Like a storm coming in to destroy everything.

I so badly wish I understood why this man has such a hold on me. Is this really love or have I created something in my head that isn’t really truth? I have to wonder if the struggle of the last 4 years will prove itself worth it or if I will find myself crumbling under the weight of this dream that I have created. What is it going to take for me to lay this at the cross and not pick it up again? I don’t know what I am afraid of. It has been an overwhelming theme over these last few months that I trust God in every area of my life except for believing that God will provide me with a man that is perfect for me. When will I trust him with me? When will I believe that God loves me so much that he will take care of me and give me the perfect husband?

I would love to say, and have it be true, that I am there. That I trust that God will not leave me out in the cold with a dream in my head but that he will never allow me to experience it. So, against what I feel I am choosing to walk in obedience. I am choosing to lay this man at the foot of the cross and I am going to beg and plead that God gives me the strength to never pick it up again. God will give me His best! He will not give me less that what is best for me. If the best is this man, he will bring us together when we are both whole and when we both trust God with us. I will pray that God will keep the dream of this man alive in my head or replace it with a better dream because right now that is all I can do.

I am choosing, actually that’s only partially true, I am stepping out in faith and asking to no longer let me be forever a prisoner of my own desires. I am asking God to free me from dreaming small so that I can dream big. I am ready to be blown away by God’s plan for my life! I am not free yet. I am not full of trust yet, but I am willing. I am standing with arms stretched out and I am asking for freedom!

If I stumble, I will get up and run right back to my creator and ask him to dust off my knees and set me back on the right path. The journey continues on…

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